KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — The public is advised not to do the fist bump, a popular gesture of greeting these days when meeting someone, so as to curb the spread of the contagious COVID-19.
Health Deputy Minister I, Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said this form of physical contact between individuals was not encouraged by the ministry.
“(There should be) no ‘salam’ (Malay style of greeting with hands together) and other forms of body contact, but today I see that the fist bump has not only become a trend but some people even embrace each other.
“The ministry proffers placing the hand on the chest and bending the head slightly as a respectful gesture of greeting because the current trend is not good and I urge the people to be careful,” he said during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara sitting, here, today.
Senator Lim Pay Hen had earlier asked on the government’s plans including the appointment of medical officers in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic as scientists had predicted that it would go on for two more years.
“We will continue to monitor this pandemic as we don’t fully know the disease yet; the weapons we have currently in fighting the disease are the face mask, hand sanitiser and physical distancing,” Dr Noor Azmi said.
He noted that Malaysia, however, had proven to be among the countries able to manage and control this infectious disease well to the extent of gaining world recognition and the government would double its efforts in fighting the disease.
On the COVID-19 swab test, he said that so far, it had only been conducted on individuals with the symptoms or were at high risk and currently, there were no plans to provide the service for free and periodically to school teachers.
“The government has developed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in various sub-sectors including education, hence compliance with the SOPs is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools,” he said in reply to a question from Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew.